I have seen many different online wind band music information sites come and go over the years. When I was a grad student I even made one myself as part of a class project. Of course, it died as all the rest have as a result of an apparent lack of interest by the music education community as a whole. Today I was informed of a new site that in my opinion may have the ability to break free and survive in the long term. Organized and edited by dozens of collegiate faculty and graduate students, the new Wind Repertory Project may provide what many band directors have wanted for a long time. A comprehensive, useful source for information on a large variety of wind band literature. Read on to find out more!
The Wind Repertory Project is the brainchild of Dr. Nick Pilato at the University of Louisville. The site is based on a standard Wiki format, allowing guests to publish their own comments and add new songs to the database. As Dr. Pilato states on the site:
The WRP was originally envisioned as a dissertation comprising a listing of wind repertory information along the lines of the excellent Orchestral Music: A Handbook by David Daniels. When the tremendous scope of the project became apparent, a decision was made to postpone creating the database until there was time to implement it in an online format, freely available to everyone.
Will This Project Survive The Test of Time?
The site is similar to other (now defunct) attempts at making an online repository of this knowledge, but the strength of this new site may lie in the large amount of prestigious collegiate assistance the site has on board for editing and moderation purposes. The Community page on the site lists 26 individuals from many different schools that are on board as editors and in other capacities. The site even includes a forum for discussion of wind band works and other topics. The list of wind band sheet music already on the site is very respectable, and hopefully more will be added in the near future.
Of the many wind literature catalogs that have come and gone, The Wind Repertory Project may have finally hit on the means to make the concept work long term. It is a very positive and useful site for all band directors to use from beginning band to advanced college ensembles. Check it out and get involved so that everyone may benefit from our collective knowledge!